Saturday, November 12, 2005

Emerging Video: Chin Puppets

YouTube is a Web site that lets you post, tag, and share videos online, sort of like Flickr but for video.

And it appears that part of the collective unconscious of teenagers with video cameras is that drawing faces on your chins and filming them upside down is funny.

There's numerous lip synch versions: samaolah's "I Just Wanna Live" and tantan's "Chin Karaoke" explore bubblegum pop (skip 'em both), stormheaven's more successful metal anthem "The Chins" (on page two of the results), and the accomplished taytay2k3's "Taylor the Chin" (two props: one for choosing opera, and the other for actually knowing the words to lip synch to-- although I'll confess at 4:50 its too long to sustain the joke). If you haven't seen enough, the out of focus work of groovy1 features Motown ("Chins").

Both NumSkullz's "Chin Man Episode #2" and ekarma's "Chinny Chin Chin" find that chin puppets swearing is hilariously funny-- I beg to disagree, but at least NumSkullz tried to give his puppet a character and create a sketch.

With just these few examples, there's enough body of work to begin to define a bold aesthetic of amateur chin puppetry:
1) Lip synched work requires choreography.
2) Live singing hasn't been explored-- it would be powerful.
3) Random face movement are funny in their randomness, but no one has connected these motions to character yet... what we are seeing so far are not puppets but proto-puppets, mere automatons.

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